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Replica Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Replica is a small yet compelling adventure game with a clever conceit. It's an inexpensive journey with a bunch of paths to take and endings to uncover. Unfortunately, its smallness left me wanting a larger and more ambitious iteration. Replica is a fun adventure that will suck you in right from the moment you turn on Dickey's cell phone for the first time. Rating: 71%
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  • Review Score:

  • B
Your name is Tom and you've been captured by the government. You don't know where you are or what's going on; all you know is that you have a stranger's locked phone in your hand and your captors are telling you to search for possible ties to terrorism. No, this is not the story of Hollywood's newest thriller, but rather the setup to Replica, a brand new graphic adventure game that takes place entirely on somebody else's cell phone.

To be fair, we know who this phone belongs to. We're told early on that you are investigating a teenage boy named Dickey, somebody the government seems to suspect of having terrorist ties. We're tasked with scouring through every inch of that phone looking for useful information that can link Dickey to some of the recent attacks.

But before we can do any of that, we first need to crack his password and catch up on the missed text messages. It won't take long to realize that there's a lot of useful information scattered throughout the text messages and photo albums. We're able to download social media apps that will fill in even more clues and give you a better understanding of what's going on. If you can find the right dates, locations and group motto, you may be able to keep the world safe from future strikes.

This is a high stakes adventure that takes place entirely on a fictional cell phone. Although it's a simple concept, I was immediately energized by the idea of snooping through other people's personal information. I couldn't wait to dig through the pictures and figure out what this rebellious teenager was Tweeting. And once the thrilling story kicked in, I was hooked and ready to see how it played out.

While the story is short and straight-forward, it can be played repeatedly with different results. I played through it a few times looking for ways to change the outcome, and I was pleasantly surprised. I ran into a few dead ends where my actions just made everything worse, but there are a few happy endings that are perfectly satisfying. Best of all, Replica never veers into adventure game logic territory. The puzzles are all grounded in reality, opting for the type of search you would normally do on a stranger's cell phone.

Replica (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

It's worth nothing that Replica is an inexpensive adventure. The game retails for $3, which ends up being both a good and bad thing. This is a cool concept that is certainly worth the cheap price, but I wonder if more could have been done with the gimmick if it cost more. There are a lot of moments where it felt like the developer was only scratching the surface of what you could do with this type of narrative trick. The result is certainly satisfactory, but I would love to see a more ambitious version that is willing to dig deep into the conspiracy.

Even though this is a game dealing with the weighty subject of terrorism, Replica still manages to seem very small. The mystery is just compelling enough to warrant several plays, and the writing is often gripping. While it only hints at what you could do with this type of storytelling, Replica is a fun adventure that will suck you in right from the moment you turn on Dickey's cell phone for the first time.
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